06 June 2011

Duke of Edinburgh Style

Apparently I am not the only one interested in Prince Philip's dress code. The Financial Times published this past Friday evening a piece on his sartorial styling. Here are some key excerpts, for your pleasure:

The source of that smartness, at least for the past 45 years, is the tailor John Kent, of Kent, Haste & Lachter. This relationship began in the early 1960s when Kent joined Hawes & Curtis and, as “undercutter”, made the Duke’s trousers. After Kent was fully trained he became the Duke’s tailor, and retained him as a client when he set up on his own in 1986. Kent’s current firm opened for business last year and quickly received the royal warrant. “He’s not a great lover of Christmas tree bits,” Kent says, meaning that the styling is austere. “Single-breasted jackets; two-button front; four-­button cuffs; no vents except on shooting stuff; no flaps on the pocket, just jetted; classic trousers – not baggy but with four full pleats.”

Depending on one’s view of men’s fashion, it is either inspiring or depressing to think that the Duke’s clothes are perennially relevant, despite being, in some cases, four decades old. Robert Johnston, GQ magazine’s associate style editor and a fan of fashion’s restlessness, is not paying the Duke a compliment when he notes that: “He hasn’t changed the way he’s dressed since he married the Queen.” To Johnston, the Duke’s “playing it safe” is a failing. Esquire’s Hayward disagrees: “Sticking with the classics means that his outfits have never really dated, so after 60 years in the public eye there have been no fashion faux pas.”

Given the Duke’s interest in clothes, it is instructive to compare his style to that of his eldest son. It is clear that the Prince of Wales has something of a dandyish streak, with his penchant for soft-shouldered, double-breasted suits and overcoats, colourful pocket squares worn puffed, and turn-ups. There are echoes of the way that the Duke of Windsor rejected the sartorial orthodoxies of his father, King George V.

Full pleats? Two-button front? Jetted pockets? Darts? No vents?

Oh dear. If they get wind of this, the professional i-Gents are bound to go apoplectic.

© The Financial Times Limited


v. Braun. said...

Even when they have flap pockets I always wear my coats 'Belgian-style' (i.e. 'tucked in'), as we call it here...

Ian Gerald Entle-Man said...

Oh for F**k's,sake, please can you do a post explaining what I-gentism, or i-Gentism is? Is it anything to do with being an 'Intelligent Gentile', or an 'International Gentleman' (an obvious pleonasm), or perhaps an 'I(ndi)gent blogging chancer'

Bruce said...

I have a couple of jackets that I really like that are unvented. I always thought them a little dodgy because of this but will now wear them much more happily. Thank you.